Bernie we tried, you failed, I give up!
It is amazing to me how anyone could have thought that the Democratic Party with all it has at stake in holding onto its power, would allow an outsider like Bernie Sanders to come in and expose them all as corporate sellouts, threaten to enact public campaign financing of elections which would jeopardize all their job security they have from the corrupt pay to play electoral system now, and threaten Wall Street, and then let him have a chance to win.
Only one word comes to mind for those who think that was a possibility and that is naive.
Do you realize how many hundreds of billions even trillions of dollars of wealth are at stake in keeping this immoral status quo in place today? Do you really think all of that can be upended in one twelve month presidential campaign season?
You ever hear the saying “Oh yeah? You and what army?” Well Bernie thought about that and realized the “army” must be all of us who realize we are all being sold out and worked to death to profit the few at the top. Because what we are dealing with is the latest incarnation of American slavery.
This nation is and was powered by the economic engine of slavery. What we have today is the fourth generation of American slavery. The first was the genocide and enslavement of 150 million Native Americans. It’s not taught in our schools or spoken of in the media but it happened and is still happening to this day. The second was the genocide and enslavement of Africans brought here to create capital for wealthy landholders. It also included the exploitation of poor white sharecroppers.
The third was Jim Crow segregation and the “redlining” of economic opportunity against people of color. The fourth includes what author Michelle Alexander refers to as “the New Jim Crow” which is the mass incarceration, voter suppression, and police intimidation of people of color. But they’ve expanded this exploitation of labor to include working white people stripped of the opportunity of rising wages by the legal evisceration of private sector unions and implementation of so-called “free trade” agreements like NAFTA.
Do you remember what it took for this nation’s Native Americans to overcome the first American slavery? No? That’s right because they were not able to. What’s left of their people still suffer to this day on Reservations living in the greatest poverty of the entire nation.
Do you recall what it took to overcome the slavery of the Africans brought to this country? It started well before the American Civil War which was the bloodiest most costly war in human terms in American history, and it is an ongoing struggle to this very day.
These economic based struggles for liberty and human rights are always multi-generational and always costly. They are never won in one election cycle.
Power especially at that level has one job and that is to hold onto power at all costs. Bernie Sanders understood that which is why from day 1 (I was there), he said he could do “nothing himself”, even if elected without a massive political revolution from the people participating.
But even then the crowd responded to his statement calling on all of us to participate with loud chants of BERNIE! BERNIE! BERNIE! as if totally disregarding the very words he said a moment earlier.
This country has been conditioned to be passive, spectators, TV watchers, phone gazers, and followers. There’s a reason for that. Followers are easily controlled.
The problem I saw was Bernie Sanders failed to stand up the political revolution as Part of his campaign. He could have used the campaign to recruit 1,000’s of new candidates nationwide and train campaign staffs to elect them as part of our presidential campaign.
Now that his campaign is over, many of the “followers” are disillusioned and burned out. Especially those who couldn’t hear his words about taking responsibility for our own revolution .It’s okay to be burned out. We all invested a lot of time and emotional energy. It’s okay to take a break and take care of oneself too. And some of us older folks may not have the physical stamina to continue not at the pace we did during the campaign but this is not a sprint. This is more like a relay race and we must pass the baton those coming up behind us as others have done in every struggle preceding this one.
I think we are all being sold a bill of goods in thinking that the presidential election is what we should all be focused on to the exclusion of everything else. I think we must work to emancipate ourselves and each other from this current incarnation of slavery where we have to live on credit card debt to pay off school loans we took out to get the promise of living wage jobs that don’t always exist after we graduate.
As free trade continues to take its toll on the working people of the world and automation increases in an exponential manner, the spirit of the working class here in America and elsewhere is being crushed under the wheel of something economists call “growth”. They tell us free trade and automation will soon benefit all workers not just the one percent wealthy investor class and graduates of Ivy League classes. That’s what they have been telling us for a long time now and we all know it’s not true.
What we need to do is free our minds of the notion that power will ever be freely handed to us or victory will ever be complete in our lifetime. Victory is a day by day struggle to do good and be good in this world. Power is the power we take together to make things better for each other.